10.14.2008

Shijo Kyomachiya


I have been taking Japanese Lessons at Kyoto City International Foundation and last week my teacher invited me to an Ikebana exposition at Shijo Kyomachiya.

Shijo Kyomachiya is a typical Meiji era Townhouse , built in 1910 as a private home to a steel material wholesale dealer, so the house has combined living spaces and store area.

The structure is basically a very long hallway that starts at the front door and ends at the back yard and a series of traditional style rooms to the left side of the hallway. The hallway was designed for tradesmen to gain access to the rear side of the house without having to take of their shoes and the rooms on the left hand side along the hallway were used for business transaction between the tradesmen and the merchants, there are also guest rooms inside the house on the second floor and a storage room in the backyard. On the right hand side of the hallway is a store currently selling traditional sweets and kyoto souvenirs.

Kyoto City Government bought and restored this machiya and opened it as a City Hall named Kyoto City Hall for Industrial Promotion on 11 April 2002 . Kyomachiya can be rented for cultural expositions, like the one I was invited to, and it is free of charge so there is no excuse not to come see this house.
This is a great place to see the inside of one of the many old and narrow houses that line the streets of Kyoto, here are some pics :

This is a well located on the main hallway in the kitchen area:

Along the main hallway there are steps to walk in to the rooms but if you look at the floor board you will see it has handles on it. This houses are narrow and the space limitation does not leave much room for storage so places like the stairs and floorboards were used as extra storage spaces, you can see drawers on the first step of the stairs:



The kitchen still has the original stove and lumber heated furo, I was really impressed with the size of the brick stove, it is massive, looks like it was used to cook for an army more than for a family.


This is a picture of the Mise Niwa right at the entrance (inside the house):


Here is a very short video of the house and a bamboo flute concert (I really dont like the way youtube lowers the quality of the video image, if you guys have any suggestions for a video hosting site better that youtube please post a comment to let me know, I'll be forever gratefull) :
Shijo Kyomachiya
Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto City

Phone#: 075-361-5938
Hours: From 11:00 am to 9:00pm Closed on Wed.

17 comments:

Langus said...

Found your blog while surfing around. Really great video of the bamboo flute! You might want to try uploading it to veoh.com if you want better quality than youtube.

Miriam said...

...You can try www.facebook.com:
there you can upload photos and videos (the quality is better than YouTube's one)...
Very nice post!
Thanks for sharing.

Miriam

Earl John said...

this country is known of its tradition and culture. one the city here is using the traditional style of their structures and its inspires me a lot. hope to see more of the beauty of this country. thanks for sharing!

SHIMI said...

hi
nice to be here

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Vacation Deals said...

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soothing experience being in this place.
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Mark Benson said...

The history and culture of Japan is quite informative and a must to know. When reaching Japan through flights to Tokyo, one should definitely go for the cultural and historic tours that are offered there. Ikebana exhibitions are another perfect events to experience in Japan. Display of sheer creativity and innovation.